The Privileged Divine Feminine in Kabbalah

The Privileged Divine Feminine in Kabbalah

by Moshe Idel

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This volume addresses the complex topic of the preeminent status of the divine feminine power, to be referred also as Female, within the theosophical structures of many important Kabbalists, Sabbatean believers, and Hasidic masters. This privileged status is part of a much broader vision of the Female as stemming from a very high root within the divine world, then She was emanated and constitutes the tenth, lower divine power, and even in this lower state She is sometime conceived of governing this world and as equal to the divine Male. Finally, She is conceived of as returning to Her original place in special moments, the days of Sabbath, the Jewish Holidays or in the eschatological era. Her special dignity is sometime related to Her being the telos of creation, and as the first entity that emerged in the divine thought, which has been later on generated. In some cases, an uroboric theosophy links the Female Malkhut, directly to the first divine power, Keter. The author points to the possible impact of some of the Kabbalistic discussions on conceptualizations of the feminine in the Renaissance period.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783110597608
Publisher: De Gruyter
Publication date: 11/19/2018
Series: Perspectives on Jewish Texts and Contexts , #10
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 260
File size: 6 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Moshe Idel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Table of Contents

Preface VII

1 Introduction - Theosophical Kabbalah: Complexity and Dynamism 1

2 Reification and the Ontological Status of Thought and Action in Early Kabbalah 28

3 The Gender Addition to "Action" 35

4 On the Elevated Status of the Divine Feminine in Theosophical Kabbalah 41

5 The Father, the Head, and the Daughter 47

6 Sefer Ma'arekhet ha-'Elohut and its Reverberations 67

7 R. Moshe Cordovero and R. Shlomo ha-Levi Alqabetz 77

8 R. Isaac Luria Ashkenazi, His Kabbalist and Sabbatean Followers 103

9 R. Moshe Hayyim Luzzatto: 1707-1746 135

10 The Privileged Female in Some Later Kabbalists in Ashkenaz 148

11 Some Hasidic Examples of the Three-Phases Gender Theory 159

12 Some Wider Terminological Considerations 172

13 Concluding Remarks 185

Primary Sources 221

Bibliography 225

Name Index 245

Subject Index 248

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